Ex-Kenya international ‘Kempes’ calls for change at FKF after Harambee Stars loss
Former Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars midfielder Sam Owino says Kenyan football is in disarray and requires ‘urgent surgery’.
Owino nicknamed “Kempes” by Gor Mahia fans argues there is a lack of trust by stakeholders and a sense of hopelessness from both players and fans.
“Our football is mired with corruption, mismanagement, mistrust, and something must be done urgently to restore order,” Kempes he told Nairobi News in an interview.
Owino urged former footballers to team up with the government to clean the game of poor leadership.
“We cannot be a country where the top league has minimal sponsorship, the national team whose coaching staff is always changing, and a playing unit that is not consistent,” he added.
The ex-international’s comments come days after a group of former footballers led by Harold Ndege called on Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba to demand fresh, free, and fair elections at the Football Kenya Federation.
They also came on the day Harambee Stars lost 1-0 to lowly South Sudan in an international friendly in Nairobi.
Owino says stakeholders should elect people with vision, competence, and keen to improve the standards of football in the country.
“The right people will rebuild trust, and create structures (youth development, coaching education, national teams, leagues, and referees) that connect the whole country (from grassroots to national level). The improvement of existing facilities and the development of new ones is critical. It is also very important for the existence of a strong Premier League that is properly managed, branded, and marketed to generate interest from viewers and sponsors.”
Owino stressed the importance of FKF working closely with the government for financial support.
He also suggested that the Ministry of Education through the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) program provides an opportunity for the federation to work with the schools to create a youth development program.
“Through the Sports Act, counties will have a large role to play as well. The federation will need to bring to reality a vision that gives direction to the counties, provides needed support, and empowers them, but also holds them accountable.”
“The outlined approach brings together the federation, Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Education, and County Government, with the federation providing the leadership as the entity authorized by FIFA to run football.”
Owino who has expressed interest in vying for the FKF presidency in the forthcoming elections has promised to bring back trust from stakeholders through transparency, stamp out corruption, and provide leadership that will bring to reality a vision that connects the whole country through infrastructures that will elevate Kenya to becoming a top football nation.